By Nellie Bowles and Erin Griffith
And, sure, it would be a close call for Joseph R. Biden Jr.
At that, Mr.
“I would certainly vote for Trump over Sanders,” Mr.
When it comes to the 2020 Democratic primaries, with California poised to allocate hundreds of delegates this week on Super Tuesday, many tech leaders in Silicon Valley have a plea: Anyone but Sanders.
While Silicon Valley has long leaned blue, the chasm between centrist Democrats and an animated left wing has created uncertainty. And now two other things are happening. California Republicans see an opportunity. And a new moderate party in the state — the Common Sense Party — is rising.
“I’m trying to balance what socialism means versus four more years of Trump, and
He said the vast majority of his venture capital industry colleagues had the same dilemma. “Eighty percent
Mr. Sanders also wants to raise the corporate tax to 35 percent. And in perhaps his most aggressive attack on the tech industry, he has proposed earlier taxation on stock options, the equity that has fueled the wealth of many in Silicon Valley.
“If your goal was to destroy the Silicon Valley ecosystem of creating new companies, this would be an effective way to do it,” Adam Nash, a tech investor and former executive at Dropbox, wrote on Twitter last week, referring to Mr. Sanders’s stock options proposal.
Ramesh Srinivasan, who is part of Mr. Sanders’s campaign and is focused on tech issues, said the senator was “not the foe of tech entrepreneurs.” He said that the policies would encourage job growth and support small businesses and that the campaign was about “just restoring balance.”
But Silicon Valley’s leadership suspects a coming war.
Among the donors to Mr.
Not only are Silicon Valley’s leaders giving money to Mr. Sanders’s competitors, they are lending their muscle to the campaigns.
Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive who is now a venture capitalist, said he would like to see Mr. Bloomberg at the top of the ticket, paired with Ms. Klobuchar or Ms. Warren.
How Silicon Valley votes matters because it leans overwhelmingly Democratic and there is a tremendous amount of capital. What is striking about this primary cycle is the schism between the people who run the companies and their workers.
Consider that employees of Alphabet gave $499,309 to Mr. Sanders for the 2020 cycle, his second-largest total donations from one employer after University of California employees, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, Mr.
“There’s a massive split between
A party for a moderate partyFor a group of California technologists dismayed by what they see as the populist turn of both national parties, the solution — albeit only a statewide one — is to ditch the two-party system altogether.
It was a response, they said, to what they call the one-party monopoly in the state. They hoped to carve out Democrats who feel isolated from their party’s leftward lurch.
“One party is the puppet of the public unions and wants government to run everything, and the other party is the puppet of the religious autocrats who want us all to act in a certain manner,” said Tim Draper, a venture capitalist and a Common Sense supporter. “No party is supporting a moderate agenda of someone who wants
The Faculty Club is a low-slung building, popular for weddings on the manicured Stanford campus.
Common Sense has close to 20,000 signatures. To qualify as a new party on the ballot, they hope to get 67,000 by the summer.
California Republicans see a rare opportunityRepublicans see a different way through this morass — turning the disaffected moderates into full-fledged members of the G.O.P.
“California Democrats just really haven’t been good friends to Silicon Valley,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, chairwoman of the California Republican Party.
The state party raised more money online in 2019 than it did in 2017 and 2018 combined, rising from a few thousand dollars a month in 2018 to tens of thousands of dollars a month in 2019, Ms. Millan Patterson said.
Republicans are making inroads in the tech world, Ms. Millan Patterson added. She cited state laws like A.B. 5, which went into effect on Jan. 1 and put
Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist, has long been the tech industry’s dissident Republican voice. He spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention to support Mr. Trump, but few tech executives held high-profile
That may be changing. In February, Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chief executive, hosted a fund-raiser for Mr. Trump in Palm Springs, Calif. Some Oracle employees wrote a petition, which garnered nearly 10,000 signatures online, asking Mr. Ellison to cancel the event. When he did not, about 300 walked out of the office or logged off from work, a protest organized by the Oracle group Employees for Ethics.
Tech workers gather for SandersSome tech employees are getting ready to be at odds with their bosses. In a crowded piano bar in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood recently, a few dozen young Democrats gathered to watch the candidates debate. Organizers tried to think if anyone in the room that night or in their group more broadly supported the two tech leader favorites at the time, Mr. Buttigieg or Mr. Bloomberg. It was hard.
“I know — me, too,” said Adam Miller, 28, who recently left a job at LinkedIn to run a start-up to sell tech tools to political campaigns. “Can’t think of one.”
The tech workers cited a geographic divide: Many employees live in San Francisco, while industry leaders tend to live in extremely wealthy enclaves like Los Gatos and Atherton, where homes often have gates and long driveways.
“They’re physically removed,” Mr.
Alek Chakroff, 35, a user-experience researcher at Google, said it came down to who has the most to lose from a wealth tax, which both Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren support.
He brought up Alphabet’s top boss, Sundar Pichai. He does not know how Mr.
“How much stock did Sundar just sell? $500 million?” he said.
The group said they were excited about Mr. Sanders’s odds for winning the majority of California’s delegates on Tuesday.
Mr. Zamora was greeting people at the door of the piano club.
“It’s very much a young folks versus the old folks,” he said.